Diabetes is a problem with insulin levels. Glucose is a form of energy from foods that you eat. Insulin is needed to move glucose from the blood into cells for energy. If there isn’t enough insulin, glucose will build up in the blood. It can lead to short and long term health problems. Over time, regular high blood glucose can lead to problems with eyes, heart, kidneys, and nerves.
Medicine and healthy habits can help manage glucose levels. It is important to follow the care plan made with your medical care team. Natural treatments may help with blood glucose control. However, it should only be used with standard treatment.
These herbs and supplements may help you control your blood glucose levels:
These herbs and supplements may help you control your blood glucose levels:
These herbs and supplements are unlikely to help lower your blood glucose levels:
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some may get in the way of treatment. They can also make illness worse or cause new problems. Examples include:
Herbs and Supplements
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A2. Williams JA, Choe YS, et al. Extract of Salacia oblonga lowers acute glycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86(1):124-130.
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A21. Hasanzade F, Toliat M, et al. The effect of cinnamon on glucose of type II diabetes patients. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013 Jul;3(3):171-174.
A22. Liu K, Zhou R, et al. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):340-348.
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A25. Kianbakht S, Dabaghian FH. Improved glycemic control and lipis profile in hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetic patients consuming Salvia officinalis L. leaf extract: a randomized placebo. Controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2013 Oct;21(5):441-416.
A26. Bang H, Kwak JH, et al. Korean red ginseng improves glucose control in subjects with impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. J Med Food 2014 Jan;17(1):128-134.
A27. Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Talaei B, et al. The effect of ginger powder supplementation on insulin resistance and glycemic indices in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2014 Feb;22(1):9-16.
A28. Oh MR, Park SH, et al. Postprandial glucose-lowering effects of fermented red ginseng in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jul 11;14:237.
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B1. Vizcaino M, Stover E. The effect of yoga practice on glycemic control and other health parameters in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Oct;28:57-66.
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B3. Angadi P, Jagannathan A, et al. Adherence to yoga and its resultant effects on blood glucose in Type 2 diabetes: a community-base follow-up study. Int J Yoga. 2017 Jan-Apr;10(1):29-36.
C1. Samadi N, Mozaffari-Khosravi H, et al. Effects of bee propolis supplementation on glycemic control, lipid profile and insulin resistance indices in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. J Integr Med.2017;15(2):124-134.
C2. Asemi Z, Alizadeh SA, et al. Effects of beta-carotene fortified symbiotic food on metabolic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A double-blind randomized cross-over controlled clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2016;35(4):819-825.
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C5. Albarracin CA, Fuqua BC, et al. Chromium picolinate and biotin combination improves glucose metabolism in treated, uncontrolled overweight obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2008;24(1):41-51.
C6. Cai H, Liu F, et al. Practical Application of Antidiabetic Efficacy of Lycium barbarum Polysaccharide in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Med Chem. 2015;11(4):383-390.
C7. Samani NM, Jokar A, et al. Efficacy of the hydroalcoholic extract of tribulus terrestris on the serum glucose and lipid profile of women with diabetes mellitus: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016;21(4):NP91-97.
C8. Francelino Andrade E, Vieira Lobato R, et al. Effect of beta glucans in the control of blood glucose levels of diabetic patients: a systematic review. Nutr Hosp. 2014 Jan 1;31(1):170-177.
C9. Shen XL, Zhao T, et al. Effect of Oat β-Glucan Intake on Glycaemic Control and Insulin Sensitivity of Diabetic Patients: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2016;8(1):E39.
C10. He LX, Zhao J, et al. The difference between oats and beta-glucan extract intake in the management of HbA1c, fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Food Funct. 2016 Mar;7(3):1413-1428.
C11. Vidal-Casariego A, Burgo-Peláez R, et al. Metabolic effects of L-carnitine on type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2013;121(4):234-238.
C12. Xu Y, Jiang W, et al. L-carnitine treatment of insulin resistance: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Adv Clin Exp Med. 2017 Mar-Apr;26(2):333-338.
C13. Lambert C, Cubedo J, et al. Effects of a Carob-Pod-Derived Sweetener on Glucose Metabolism. Nutrients. 2018;10(3):E271.
C14. Abdollahi M, Farshchi A, et al. Effect of chromium on glucose and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes; a meta-analysis review of randomized trials. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2013;16(1):99-114.
C15. Suksomboon N, Poolsup N, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of chromium supplementation in diabetes. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014;39(3):292-306.
C16. Bailey CH. Improved meta-analytic methods show no effect of chromium supplements on fasting glucose. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Jan;157(1):1-8.
C17. Yin RV, Phung OJ. Effect of chromium supplementation on glycated hemoglobin and fasting plasma glucose in patients with diabetes mellitus. Nutr J. 2015 Feb 13;14:14.
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Last reviewed May 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Last Updated: 6/14/2019